Currently different possible solutions to overcome the European financial crisis are discussed and many tools have been implemented already in the economic and financial sector. We have big turmoil within the European debate. Some argue in favour for more European integration and some argue to renationalise policy areas. The deconstruction of Europe has become socially acceptable in some countries. Now the European Commission has come up with different proposals connected to the European elections 2014 which have the power to develop the European Union into a real European democracy.
The communication from the Commission “Preparing for the 2014 European elections: further enhancing their democratic and efficient conduct” COM(2013) 126 final was released on March 12th 2013.
No matter what has been agreed on European level towards a genuine economic and monetary union, the legitimacy has to be reached on a democratic basis. That is why the European Commission is promoting democracy via strengthening the European Parliament and the European elections.
European parties as major player
One of the crucial issues is to show that politics at national and European level are interconnected and not two separate things. To develop the European debate the political parties have to change their way of acting. Thus the European parties have to be more visible, they need more financial support and they have to initiate the dialogue with the citizens. To achieve these goals the national political actors have to clarify to what European party they belong, what policy they stand for and they have to put this connection forward in a very straight way. By doing this a real democratic competition is possible on European level as we all know it from the national level. One common election day in the whole European Union would support this approach as well.
A face for the government
Another important factor is to give those European parties a face. People know that if they go to the election who will become mayor or prime minister if they support a specific party. The president of the European Commission – the European equivalent to a head of government in the member states – is still chosen by the European Council. The Lisbon treaty says that the EC should consider the result of the European elections. Therefore the European parties need to nominate a candidate who will be the next president of the Commission if the party will win the election. To combine the higher publicity of European parties, with a clear political programme, interconnected with the national players and crowned with a European candidate to be head of the European government is more or less the standard political procedure in the democracies of the member states.
A true parliamentarian system
In the long run the political debate has to be fought between the majority and minority in the European parliament – the European Council acting like the second chamber articulating the rights of the member states. In this sense the proposal of the Commission are heading to a real parliamentarian system within the European Union – a real European democracy.
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